on March 18, 2013
The series is well conceived, well written, and well cast. I can nitpick a couple of things, but that is what it would be, nitpicking. At the heart of the story is the existence of the twins, Emma and Sutton.
Sutton is the spoiled princess and Emma is the runaway from Nevada foster care, the pauper. Only a few persons know of the existence of the twins, and maintaining the secret of the twins is the motive force of the story. While this would not ordinarily appear to be much of a motive for all that occurs in the story, understanding the motives of all of the players helps.
Ted, played by Andy Buckley, is hiding from his wife Kristin, played by Helen Slater, his identity as adopted daughter Sutton's biological father. He is also hiding this identity from the daughter played by Alexandra Chando. It is not completely clear why, but he might fear that the child would spill the beans. Oddly, he does not know of the existence of the twin, Emma. Alec played by Adrian Pasdar, Ted's high school and lifetime chum, who plays the local District Attorney, arranged the adoption of Sutton the issue of an affair in the initial year of Ted's marriage to Kristin. When Ted learns of the birth of a daughter while his young wife is expecting and learns that the young and unprepared biological mother is placing the baby up for adoption, Alec makes arrangements for Ted to adopt his own daughter. This action is only plausible because Ted and Kristin are having trouble "getting pregnant."
The adoption was all handled under the table. Ted only adopts one of the twins because he does not know there are twins, a secret maintained by Alec. Accordingly, after the adoption Alec's motive for keeping the secret of the existence of the twins is that not only was the adoption legally unnecessary (presumably the declared birth father could simply be given custody of the newborn), but it was illegal or at least shady as handled, bad business for a lawyer and for a District Attorney in particular. In splitting up the twins and not disclosing that there are twins, Alec has deceived his friend Ted for what in his mind are altruistic reasons. Of course disclosing the identity of Sutton's biological parents would be disastrous to Ted's marriage and could threaten Alec's legal career. Rebecca, played by Charisma Carpenter, the biological mother of the twins after seventeen years sets out to win Ted's affections and "reunite" the family. This setting is ripe for exploitation with lies and intrigue.
The twins discover one another s existence, and the intrigue begins with the two girls switching places so that Sutton can follow up leads and find her still undiscovered biological mother. During Sutton's absence, Emma must assume the life of Sutton, a life of some privilege in situation and standing among Sutton's peers. As the story develops it becomes clear that twin Emma is more successful in her high school career than is even Sutton. This switch is supposed to last for only a couple of days, but it gets dragged out much longer.
Alexandra Chando deserves a Golden Globe or other award for her work in this series, The Lying Game. Chando's performance is masterful in playing the role of both identical twins, Emma Becker and Sutton Mercer. The viewer will love them both, but Emma a little more. As Sutton put it Emma is the improved version of Sutton. The Sutton character can show some spoiled meanness, but also show cute mischief. Chando appears effortlessly to move between the personality and temperament of Sutton Mercer and Emma Becker. At many places and scenes in the series, if the viewer could "freeze frame" Chando's nuanced facial expressions and study them, they would come to recognize what a true master of meaningful facial nuance actress Chando really is. I am not sure quite how the director handles the scenes involving both characters (although I can speculate), but even these scenes are believable. OK Chando, I concede that you may not think you are doing this effortlessly, but as long as you make it look that way you get my vote for the Golden Globe. (Unfortunately I don't actually have a vote.)
on August 30, 2013
Put aside the totally unbelievable plot. Focus on what's important: handsome boyfriend, weird musical interludes, pretty Arizona landscape, over-the-top fashion choices for teens. This show is great fun, totally dumb.
on April 30, 2013
My sister and I, both in our early twenties, love watching this show for fun; it's just mysterious enough to keep you guessing without being overdone, you can never figure out where the road is heading, and it's just "old" enough to be entertaining while still being light and youthful. It won't increase your brain cell count by any means, but it's a great sit-back-and-chill!
on July 9, 2013
Objectively I would say this is a show of poor quality, but there's something about it that keeps me watching. It probably has a lot to do with the attractive cast, and I also like Laurel very much, because the dialogue and story lines can be enraging/frustrating at times.